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Upcycle: Kids Learn How to Turn Trash into Art in Richmond

This Saturday’s Upcycle event is featured in the SF Chronicle’s 96 Hours section. We sure hope to see you for an afternoon of making, upcycling and music!

Landfills will be a little emptier this weekend, thanks to a fun, kid-friendly program at the Richmond Art Center.

The program, the second annual Upcycle, is a maker festival where families can create, see and learn about the art of “upcycling,” creatively reusing materials otherwise headed for the garbage.

Over the course of the day, visitors will be able to sew bags and quilts from old pieces of clothing, weave small rugs from old T-shirts, use broken plates and tiles to create a colorful mosaic trash can, turn use bicycle inner tubes into jewelry, and experience the magic of fire and metal to fold-form 3-D objects. In many cases, participating families will be able to engage in these activities with the help of local artists, too, taking direction from creative minds who work with upcycled materials every day.

Read the full story:  Upcycle: Kids Learn How to Turn Trash into Art in Richmond, SF Chronicle 96 Hours · April 9, 2014

Art in the Community at Eight Locations This Spring

“We learned how to use metal the right way, how to form it, but in a safe way.”

That’s how a middle school student described what he learned in the Metal Arts class at our newest site, DeJean Middle School. Our traveling Art in the Community program continues to expand and we are now at eight unique sites.

This spring, we are set to bring a variety of art-making programs all across Richmond. Instructor Rachel Schaffran will teach two STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) classes at Lincoln Elementary and Helms Middle School.

Students at DeJean Middle School will paint a mural with artists Suzanne Czerny and Nichole Talbott and at Portola Middle School, teens will screen- print with teaching artist Monica Gyulai. Students at Grant Elementary will be making beautiful metal objects with Holly Carter.

At Nevin Community Center, students will learn ceramics from Kiki Rostad, and at Shields-Reid Community Center, they will create mosaic embellishments with instructor Daud Abdullah. At the Richmond Main Public Library kids will listen to works of children’s literature and make art with Irma Vega Bijou.

Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.

Constructing a city with recyclable materials at the Richmond Public Library main branch.

This amazing season will conclude with Jessica Regalado leading families through several art-making experiences at two Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES) camps.

If you are interested in bringing our Art in the Community programs to your group or school?

Learn more here or contact Rebeca García-González at rgarcia@nullrichmondartcenter.org or call 510.620.6772.

Executive Director Update: Spring 2014

Executive Director Update by Ric Ambrose

I am excited about our spring exhibition series — in particular, The Breakfast Group: Jive and Java, an exhibition of 30 noted artists featuring a unique program of weekly discussions, artist talks and hands-on workshops.

The Breakfast Group was formed in the 1960s by a group of artists who were professors in the Art Department at the University of California Berkeley. They began meeting weekly to talk about art, teaching and individual pursuits. As the coffee flowed, so did conversations about art, film, politics and, naturally, sports. Five decades later, The Breakfast Group still meets weekly. What binds these artists is not a singular style or material, but an interest in the work around them, an engagement in the dialogue of contemporary art and an open and questioning relationship to the world and current events.

I hope you’ll join us as The Breakfast Group takes up residence at the Richmond Art Center in the Main and West Galleries. The exhibition, sponsored by Oliver & Company, will contain works by The Breakfast Group members and each week one or two of these artists will display additional work in the Spotlight Gallery. On Saturdays, the members will meet up in our Main Gallery from 11 am to 1 pm. Everyone is invited to pull up a chair and join in the lively discussion as coffee fuels unexpected conversations about current events and the group exchanges shared experiences of being practicing artists. These discussions will be followed by a talk by one of the Spotlight artists. In addition, six of the artists will also be teaching Saturday workshops.

We hope these unique weekly programs will generate an ongoing discourse for artists (performing, visual and literary) and art enthusiasts and continue building a thriving art community at the Richmond Art Center where artists can share their individual and collective ideas, stories and aspirations in pursuing their artistic and economic prosperity.

And later this spring, don’t miss your opportunity to view the immense talent of over 100 aspiring artists. In April, the 49th Annual West Contra Costa Unified School District Student Exhibition opens and in May we will showcase the work of students from our traveling Art in the Community Program.

 

Fine Art Connoisseur on the Language of Realism

Why Not Just Photograph it? That’s the question that Jeffrey Carlson, Contributing Editor at Fine Art Connoisseur asked John Wehrle the curator for our exhibition The Language of Realism and a California artist best known for his site-specific public artworks. This exhibition features four West Coast realist painters — Michael Beck, Christine Hanlon, Anthony Holdsworth and John Rampley.

I have often been asked the question, ‘Why not just photograph it?’ I have never had a simple answer, either for myself or for others. So, one of the goals of this exhibition was to provide examples of realist painting that, if not providing a definitive solution, at least presented a variety of reasons.” – John Wehrle. 

Read the full interview here: Honoring the Language of Realism, Fine Art Connoisseur.

Image: Michael Beck, American Roots, Oil on canvas, 46 x 40 inches, 2009. Featured artist in “The Language of Realism” Exhibition

Claire Falkenstein Print

Claire Falkenstein  (1908-1997) graduated from UC Berkeley in 1930, took master classes at Mills where she studied with Alexander Archipenko and met Moholy-Nagy. She taught for UC Berkeley Extension and Mills College and then at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) where she taught alongside Clifford Still and Richard Diebenkorn.

Producing some of the earliest non-objective abstract American sculptures, Falkenstein used non-traditional materials such as logs, stovepipe wire, and lead bars. She called her works “structures” and applied this term to her paintings and prints as well. The fine print donated by the Falkenstein Foundation is a vibrant juxtaposition of expansive brushstrokes flying across the paper and an aggregation of mark-making alluding to an amassing form.

Silkscreen, 18 x 24, c. 1970

Donor: Claire Falkenstein Foundation
Value: $500

Airplane Ride for Two

Tour the Bay Area from the vantage point of a bird! Or a plane! Enjoy your own, personal pilot and private plane, a 1977 Cessna Cardinal RG for a flight above San Francisco Bay and environs. Two people will meet the pilot at the Hayward Municipal Airport (with FAA controlled tower) and embark upon a one-hour aviation experience, including 30-40 minutes airborne above the Bay. Date to be mutually determined and dependent on weather.

Donor: Danny Aarons
Value: $300

Fall Steelhead Fishing on the Feather River for Two

The Feather River is a beautiful river full of birds, otters, and beavers. Salmon can also be observed in their mating runs. Join a seasoned fly fisherman for a day trip of fishing. Fly rods or spinning equipment with beads and flies, and indicators will be provided for two.

October and November are best months. Lunch included. Two hours away from Richmond Art Center to Oroville. 

Donor: Stephen Nomura
Value: $500

Wanxin Zhang: Head of Dragon Warrior

Wanxin Zhang was born and educated in China. He graduated from the prestigious LuXun Academy of Fine Art in Sculpture in 1985. In 1992, after Zhang established his art career as a sculptor in China, he relocated to San Francisco with his family and received his Master in Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University. Zhang had been on the faculty of the Academy of Art University, Department of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley and California College of The Art in Oakland. Zhang currently is an adjunct faculty at San Francisco Art Institute.

Zhang’s sculptures represent a marriage between historical references and a contemporary cultural context; they carry messages of social and political commentary. His work is deeply influenced by the Bay Area figurative movement and artists such at Peter Voulkos and Stephen De Staebler. As a studio sculptor and educator, Zhang was the first place recipient of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in 2006 and the Joan Mitchell Grant in 2004. His sculptures have been shown in San Francisco,  Santa Fe, Miami, Seattle, Palm Desert and New York City. In 2007, his pieces were part of the 22nd UBC Sculpture Biennial in Japan; in 2008, his sculpture was selected by the Taipei Ceramics Biennial in Taiwan; and in 2013, he was part of the Da Tong’s 2nd International Sculpture Biennial in China. Zhang had his first solo art museum show at the University of Wyoming Art Museum in 2006, with solo museum exhibitions following at the Arizona State University Art Museum, Boise Art Museum in Idaho, Fresno Art Museum in California, The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art in Michigan, Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington, and Holter Museum of Art in Montana. His works have been selected to be included in Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz, and can be found in major art magazines such as “Art News,” “Art in America,” “Sculpture,” and “American Ceramics.” Zhang has many public collections, and his private collectors are located both nationally and internationally. In 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle picked Zhang’s exhibition at the Richmond Art Center to be one of the Top 10 Exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wanxin Zhang
Head of Dragon Warrior, 2015, high-fired clay with glaze and decals
9″ x 6″ x 4″

Estimated Value: $1500
Donor: Wanxin Zhang

Face: Peter Voulkos Print

A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto, and others. While influencing numerous students, and achieving international status, Mr. Voulkos was faculty at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 to 1985. His work introduced the so-called Abstract Expressionist movement that turned the polite world of American ceramics upside down. Arguably the most influential potter of the 20th century and his work is in over 100 museum collections worldwide.

Executed in 1979, the expressionistic lithographs mimic Voulkos’ approach to manipulating his clay sculptures/vessels like forms that is spontaneous, unpredictable, and action-packed mark-making.

Peter Voulkos
Face, 1979, Lithograph, unframed, Edition 44/200
Size: 36 x 24 inches

Donor: Marna Clark
Value: $800

Head: Peter Voulkos Print

A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto, and others. While influencing numerous students, and achieving international status, Mr. Voulkos was faculty at the University of California, Berkeley from 1959 to 1985. His work introduced the so-called Abstract Expressionist movement that turned the polite world of American ceramics upside down. Arguably the most influential potter of the 20th century and his work is in over 100 museum collections worldwide.

Executed in 1979, the expressionistic lithographs mimic Voulkos’ approach to manipulating his clay sculptures/vessels like forms that is spontaneous, unpredictable, and action-packed mark-making.

Head, 1979
Lithograph, unframed, Edition 44/200, signed
Size: 36 x 24 inches

Donor: Marna Clark
Value: $800

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510.620.6772

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